The Lycus River Valley
Today was another spectacular day for us! It was much colder today, but we managed to stay warm pretty well and were able to see all that we intended to see. We are grateful to God for the good weather we have had thus far.
Today we began studying the 7 Churches of Revelation. Our day began at the ancient ruins of Hierapolis where we considered the reality of what losing your life so that you can find it really entailed for the members of the early church. We also got to spend some time at the end of the site exploring the travertine falls on the Southern end of the city. It’s not snow; those are calcium and other mineral deposits from the hot spring nearby.
Hierapolis, the “Sacred City,” is located at present-day Pamukkale in south central Turkey. In the 1st century, it was part of the tri-city area of Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis. This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). Before AD 70, Phillip (either the apostle or the evangelist) moved to Hierapolis, where he was believed to have been martyred.
After Hierapolis, we went to the location of Colossae. Nothing has been excavated there, but it was a powerful moment to consider the entire book of Philemon as a powerful picture of the Gospel and opportunity to consider how we should respond to other believers when we are wronged by them.
We finished our day at Laodicea – the first of the letters to the 7 Churches that we were able to study. We learned about how some of the specific characteristics of the city can be seen in Jesus’ words to the church. We also talked about how easily the world around us lulls us away from needing Jesus.
Sorry for the short post, but we’ve been having lots of fun after dinner and haven’t had much time for blog posts. Hope you all are doing well!
By Matt Lantz, Forge Director
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev 3:14-16)
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